West Side Story presented by Vancouver Opera

Jon Aaron

The cast are all from Canada, but they still rock the show like the original Broadway cast. 

The West Side Story Broadway musical landed its first premier in Vancouver Opera on last Saturday (October 22nd, 2011). The cast are all from Canada, but they still rock the show like the original Broadway cast. The musical combined dancing and on-stage fighting into intense choreography while the operatic scale composition was still perfectly delivered.

What we loved the most about the show was the actor who played Tony. This character is based on Romeo from Shakespeare’ Romeo and Juliet. One of our authors said that she never liked Romeo because she felt that the character is too flat, until she saw the scene when Tony looked into Maria’s eyes as if she was the only girl in the world. It was such a powerful scene that convinced all the audiences that it was love at the first sight. Also, he has a very classical tone in his voice, especially when he did the solo called “Maria”; he was able to turn his mellow, classical tone into this romantic piece of music. So in our opinion, he has portrayed a very genuine Tony.

The character Maria was very good at acting, but her imitation of the Puerto Rico accent was a little bit overwhelmed at times. It is probably because she tried to highlight the forbidden inter-racial romance between the main characters as one of the centre theme of the show. However, when she was doing the duet “Tonight” with Tony, she concentrated too much on the accent, for example, she over annunciated the “To” sound, which made the feeling of the song went a little bit off. However, she did a really good job at the song “Somewhere”. She was dancing across the stage while still being able to sing the song beautifully. It was the highlight of the show which brought many audiences into tears.

 Last but not the least was the final gun shot scene. The character Tony was murdered by Maria’s fiancé Chino; for a moment it felt so real as if the performance of the entire cast had truly brought the audiences into the world of the West Side Story.

The Vancouver production of West Side Story is a “must watch”. The show will last until October 29th, 2011.

Reporting for CJSF Arts Program. This is from Julie Ngo and Shawn Feng. 

  • Posted on: 18 March 2016
  • By: Administrator